Posted in Blog

Keep an eye on her!

Hi all!

I just wanted to write a quick note to let you all know of an up and coming author! Teresa Tysinger is a sweet friend and one of my critique partners. She’s finished her first novel and is querying it right now.

In the meantime, I’d love for you to visit her site, follow it, and sign up for her newsletter! Believe me, you won’t regret it!! ❤

Visit her here!

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Posted in Blog

Faith. Fun. Forever.

Hi all!

I’m actually writing on a deadline at the moment, but took a time-out for some dinner and was thinking of you.

You may have noticed the design change. If you haven’t read my Books page, I’ll fill you in. 🙂 (So I’m lazy. The next few paragraphs are copied right from my Books page. Not even gonna.)

I’ve always been drawn to humorous love stories. I love the deep, meaningful books full of gorgeous prose and imagery, but each time I try to write in that vein, I get stuck. Kind of like God is trying to tell me that He has other plans for me. Instead, I play the comparing game and think that if I don’t write the deep prose, I’m not as talented or hard-working as those other authors.

Lies, my friends.

I was at a coffee shop, brainstorming with three other authors yesterday morning and mentioned this to them. One of them, a very dear friend, said that there is a place for humorous love stories, especially in the lives of those going through some very difficult bible-896220_640times. (End of copying! The rest is fresh from my heart tonight.)

Obviously, my faith makes me who I am. I’m a work-in-progress. A messy, imperfect woman who loves Jesus and wants to share the joy of loving Him with others. So it’s just naturally going to come into play in my novels. I can’t help it. And I don’t think He wants me to. 🙂 (And that picture there includes coffee because it’s one of my favorite loves.)

The “fun” part? Well…I love humor! I love to laugh. Who doesn’t? And quite honestly, I’m terribly hilarious. 😉 At least, that’s what I tell everyone. Whether it’s true or not…. But bridal-636018_640really, I hope to get others to laugh, or at least smile, while reading my books. I want that woman who is sitting through a chemo appointment to smile and have her mind taken off what’s being put into her veins to help her be healed. I want that young woman hoping for a love story of her own to see that God loves and pursues her passionately–more passionately than any earthly man ever could–and does so with joy and laughter. I want that mum who’s so worn out from work or being at home with her kids all day to have a few minutes at night to just let go.

Forever. Oh, who doesn’t dream of forever? The romance of a new relationship, the stress ring-441783_640of planning a wedding, the joy in the ceremony and reception…then the forever. I want you, my readers, to fall in love with the characters. To join them in their celebration of “forever,” and dream of not just their wedding, but their “ever after.” I also want my readers to see the romance and joy of an “ever after” with their Creator! Jesus on the cross is the most stunning picture of love. A commitment to Him–and His to us–will make all the difference in our lives. Will it make our lives easier? Nope. He doesn’t promise that. What He does promise is that He’ll be there with us, through it all (Matthew 28:20).

Obviously, I’m a romantic at heart. And I make no apologies for it. So, expect it from me. 🙂 But also expect characters who are real, flawed, messy. Because those characters will also be redeemed through Christ’s death, resurrection, grace, and mercy.

Just like us.

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Posted in Cover Reveal, Giveaway

A Cover Reveal…and Giveaway!

Oh. My. Goodness. I can’t even.

If you’ve been on my Facebook author page, have read a few posts here, or are friends with me, both on Facebook and real life (wait…isn’t Facebook real life??), you know that I’m a ginormous fan of author Dawn Crandall. So, it’s a true honor and huge treat for me that today, I get to participate in her cover reveal!!! <—That’s three exclamation marks, people!

Dawn has written an absolutely incredible series called The Everstone Chronicles (click on the title to be taken to the ebooks). These include the titles, The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heartand The Captive Imposter (click on the titles to be taken to the paperback books). Well, despite no original plans to do so, she’s been contracted and is currently writing book four, The Cautious Maiden! Color me excited, dear readers!!

Here’s a little bit about the Fall 2016 release:

Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother transforms her deceased parents’ respectable country inn into a brothel to accommodate the lumberjacks in the area. When her reputation is compromised, she finds herself forced to enter into an engagement with Vance Everstone. Can she trust this man she hardly knows who has a scandalous reputation in his own right?

So…are you ready for the cover?

Start. Drumroll. Now.

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Isn’t it gorgeous?!?! And if I can brag or a moment, *sniff* I was one of a select few (read: around 15 or so) who caught a first glance of two potential covers. And yes. This one was my favorite. Okay. It was everyone’s favorite. 😉

Now who’s ready for a giveaway?!? Dawn is graciously giving away paperback copies of The Everstone Chronicles, an Everstone Chronicles mug, and a $25 Amazon gift card! Hello!

Click below to be taken to Rafflecopter to enter:

Or visit Dawn’s site to enter directly.

And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter my very first giveaway! Click here to read the post and enter!

Good luck, everyone!!

Posted in Giveaway

A New Year…and a Giveaway!

Can you believe it’s already 2016? I’m not necessarily having a hard time accepting that fact, but I am having a hard time reconciling the fact that I still feel like I’m in my early- to mid-twenties, even though I’m…well, beyond my twenties. I still tell people I’m either 27 or 29, depending on if I did my makeup that day. 😉 However, my two younger kids haven’t smartened up yet; they still ensure that everyone knows just how old I really am.

Rude.

So, my birthday was just over a week ago and I wanted to post this then, but you know how that week between Christmas and New Year’s is: you’re in a food and celebration coma and don’t have a clue as to what day it really is. All this to say, here I am, on January 4th, getting ready to “celebrate” my birthday with you by…are you ready?…having a giveaway!

Yes! A giveaway! I love giving things to make people smile, and you, dear readers, are very patient with my sporadic postings. So while I don’t have my own book to give away yet, I do have something for you. I found it in a sweet decor shop here in the city (of course I bought one for myself; I couldn’t resist!) and thought it would be a fun little trinket to send an avid reader.

So here it is!

Giveaway January 2016

You’ll get that sweet sign and a $5 Amazon gift card to purchase a Kindle book of your choosing (or whatever you wish to spend it on). All you need to do is leave a comment answering this question:

What goals have you set for yourself for this year? They can be writing, reading, personal, health, relational, you name it! I’m always interested in hearing what other people wish to improve upon.

Open only to residents of the United States and Canada. The winner will be chosen via Random.org on February 1, 2016. (See? I wrote the year correctly! Yay me!) I’ll announce the winner both here and on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/mikaldawnauthor/), so be sure to head to Facebook and “like” my page if you haven’t already!

Happy New Year!

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Isaac Project by Sarah Monzon

A while ago, I had a Christian book review blog. I accidentally let that domain expire, however, and decided to buy my own name as my domain rather than just using the free one. Special, huh? 🙂

Anyway, I haven’t done a book review for a long while now (since April), but my sweet friend, Sarah Monzon, just released her debut novel! I am so beyond thrilled for her! It’s a fantastic debut, so I wanted to spread the word!

Without further ado, here’s my take on The Isaac Project.

The Isaac Project

Release date: September 1, 2015

Publisher: Radiant Publications

Author’s Web Site: http://www.sarahmonzonwrites.com/

 From the publisher:

Becky Sawyer’s life unravels in a single day. Not only does she catch her boyfriend, the man she hoped to marry, lip-locked with another woman, she also receives the gut-wrenching news that her grandfather, the man who raised her, is dying. His last wish? To see her happily married. Heartbroken, Becky seeks inspiration in the pages of the Holy Scriptures. And finds it in the story of Isaac and Rebekah.

If love couldn’t keep his parents together, Luke Masterson wonders what will make a marriage last. He decides to steer clear of all women—especially crazy ones like Becky Sawyer, who employs a friend to find her a husband. But when he feels the dogged promptings of the Holy Spirit to move across the country and marry a complete stranger, it seems love has little to do with it anyway.

With commitment their only foundation, and love constantly thwarted, can an arranged marriage find happiness in the twenty-first century?

My thoughts:

Becky and Luke. Sigh.

These two are a match made in heaven. Literally. When we first meet Becky, she’s joyful, optimistic, and in love. That doesn’t last long. At all. And it’s when her boyfriend is caught cheating on her that her insecurities—ones that I think a lot of us women can relate to—really come out. Through heartache, misunderstanding, and pride—yep, that nasty thing—Becky has such a beautiful character arc and growth that results in breaking down that wall of pride. There were a few times I wanted to throttle her, but more because I’ve been where she is and I know how it turns out. Thankfully, by the end of the book, so does she.

Luke. Well, I have a crush on him. Gotta be honest. J He really opens himself up to God’s direction, and while he has hesitations, he trusts in the Lord and makes a commitment he’s determined to stand by. His arc isn’t as focused upon, though we’re often in his point of view and it’s a beautiful thing. He has his own faults, but they don’t play as large a part in this story as Becky’s does. Luke’s story more surrounds his attempt to show his wife love—even before he realizes he loves her. He’s a pretty swoon-worthy man, I tell you.

Sarah Monzon has done an incredible job in her debut novel! She has excellent tension between two loveable characters, Luke and Becky, has protagonists (which don’t always need to be people) that move the story along at a good pace, and a well-developed plot. While the premise seems a little far-fetched in this day and age at first thought, when you read the book, it actually isn’t that far-fetched at all (and it’s something my husband and I have often talked about with regards to our own kids…LOL!). More than anything, it highlights that marriage isn’t about the feeling of love, but the commitment of love, something that will hold a marriage together through thick and thin.

I highly recommend reading this book. At first, you may need to suspend some belief to understand the premise (I personally didn’t, but some of you might), but isn’t that what fiction is anyway? A suspension of belief? Besides…I can see this happening and working out when both people are really committed.

As An Aside:

Would I do it? I want to say “no,” but honestly…in a way, I kind of did. While my husband and I met online on our own, we were “matched” together. We did talk on the phone a lot, but we only saw each other twice before our wedding (our third time in person together). We knew each other more than Luke and Becky, sure, but it was still a ginormous step of faith. So, would I do this? Would I involve myself in The Isaac Project? It would take a lot of faith—even more so than when I met and married my husband (by the way, that was over nine years ago, and we’re more in love today than even then!)—but if it’s what God asked me to do, yes. I would do it.

*I was given this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.